The Mongoliad: Book One (Foreworld #1)
by Neal Stephenson, Greg Bear, Mark Teppo , E.D. deBirmingham,
Erik Bear, Joseph Brassey, Cooper Moo
I give this book a 4.
This is an epic tale in the tradition of something like the Song of Roland, but I think this is more much accessible to modern readers. This tale covers a short period of the Mongol rule in which various knights of Christendom are charged with the task of saving what little territories are left, but instead they decided to just take out the Khan. The main character of this story is oddly enough not a Christian or a knight. She is a scout of mixed nationality who goes along for the ride to help in any way she can, hoping she doesn’t die, and soon begins to empathize with the cause of her comrades.
I like this book for the many stories it tells. There are so many details and lives that cross in this book. It’s a true pleasure to read great stories like these. Cnan and the knights have a great adventure tale shared between them, but each of this group has a story worth learning, even though they don’t all get told in this book. Even though they are united to save Christendom, most these knights aren’t Christians, they just want to take down the Mongols. There are a few however who remind you of such characters as the Knights of the Round Table.
Then there is Gansukh (a hunter/warrior sent to look after the Khan), and Lian (an obedient and wise slave looking for an escape), and the slave fighters of the Mongols whose names aren’t important right now. There are so many characters and interesting stories to be told in the book that it does sometimes get confusing, but if you stick with it, it all comes together.
I love the way the hunting and tracking scenes are described, and the fight scenes aren’t bad either. My main reason for not giving this book a 5 is the fact that it doesn’t really end. I mean the pages stop, but there is no type of conclusion drawn. I find this a bit irritating. I get that books in a series never really end until the series ends, but I at least expect some type of indication that this part of the series is now complete.
I will never be on board with this idea that a series is an excuse to just stop in the middle of a story so the next book can be printed. I probably would have given this book a 5 if the goal of it had been for the characters to reach the Shield Sisters. The next book could start with what happens after that, but no- this book just stopped.
This is a great historical fiction epic that I think would appeal to readers of fantasy looking to try something different. If you can read the Game of Throne books, you can read this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords